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Laurence Barber

Wires and Lights blogger

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Supremely <em>Awkward.</em>: why MTV’s teen sitcom is vital television

Supremely Awkward.: why MTV’s teen sitcom is vital television

November 20, 2013 2 Comments

TV has struggled to make a great show for a new generation of teens, but the call has been answered in the form of MTV sitcom Awkward. Laurence Barber explores how this bright and brassy show came to sit alongside the best comedies on television.

Seven exec Bevan Lee hopes “the new media does not give rise to an elitist snobbery”, says he doesn’t even watch the kind of TV he writes

Seven exec Bevan Lee hopes “the new media does not give rise to an elitist snobbery”, says he doesn’t even watch the kind of TV he writes

November 1, 2013 4 Comments

Channel Seven network executive and creator of Packed to the Rafters Bevan Lee has stated that TV's increasing engagement with new media makes his "blood run cold" and that writers are no longer "paying their dues". Wires & Lights explores why, in a world of shrinking ratings and more great TV than ever, Lee's perspective is as hypocritical as it is embarrassingly outmoded.

New on TV: <em>Super Fun Night</em>, <em>Brooklyn Nine-Nine</em>, <em>Mom</em>, and <em>Trophy Wife</em>

New on TV: Super Fun Night, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Mom, and Trophy Wife

October 17, 2013

There’s a bounty of new TV on the airwaves lately with the start of the fall season in the US. Wires & Lights is giving you an overview of how this new wave is faring so far. After a few episodes, which shows are becoming cohesive, promising new additions, and which are lagging behind? This week we look at Rebel Wilson's Super Fun Night, cop sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, an actually modern family in Trophy Wife, and the Anna Faris-Allison Janney multi-cam Mom.

<em>Breaking Bad</em> delivered the exact finale it promised, but was that enough?

Breaking Bad delivered the exact finale it promised, but was that enough?

September 30, 2013 10 Comments

Tonight marked the end of Breaking Bad, one of the most acclaimed television shows of the last decade. But was "Felina" the series finale of a show which too simplistically forewent broader cultural impact in favour of safer narrative closure?

New on TV this week: <em>Scandal</em>, <em>SHIELD</em>, <em>Homeland</em> and more

New on TV this week: Scandal, SHIELD, Homeland and more

September 30, 2013

There's a bounty of new TV on the airwaves lately with the start of the fall season in the US. Over the next week, Wires & Lights will let you know what is and isn't worth a watch in the new crop. First up, we highly recommend the return of Scandal, and look at Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, Homeland’s premiere, Masters of Sex, The Blacklist, and Sleepy Hollow.

<em>Enlightened</em>’s Amy Jellicoe reacts to the Emmy Awards

Enlightened’s Amy Jellicoe reacts to the Emmy Awards

September 23, 2013

Laura Dern was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of Amy Jellicoe on HBO's Enlightened. See how her wonderful character reacted to today's Emmy awards.

Not-so-<em>Modern Family</em>: 16 years after <em>Ellen</em>, are we now in a golden age of queer television?

Not-so-Modern Family: 16 years after Ellen, are we now in a golden age of queer television?

September 23, 2013 8 Comments

Modern Family has been called ground-breaking by one US TV critic, but within the history of LGBTQ representation on the small screen, where does it really sit? Does it compare to the watershed episode of Ellen that changed television in 1997? Laurence Barber explores the past, present and future of non-normative sexuality on the small screen, and asks the question: are we about to enter a golden age of queer television?

Diminishing return? Chris Lilley’s upcoming <em>Ja’mie: Private School Girl</em> to revive one of his most popular creations

Diminishing return? Chris Lilley’s upcoming Ja’mie: Private School Girl to revive one of his most popular creations

September 9, 2013 1 Comment

Chris Lilley's just-announced production for the ABC is a 6-part series based on twice-used bitchy teen Ja'mie King. After the slump of Angry Boys, can Lilley overcome the character's inherent limitations or will it prove to simply be a lunge for renewed commercial success?

Cartoon and a comedian: how <em>Adventure Time</em> and <em>Louie</em> are revolutionising TV storytelling for different generations

Cartoon and a comedian: how Adventure Time and Louie are revolutionising TV storytelling for different generations

August 15, 2013 5 Comments

Adventure Time and Louie are, on the surface, vastly different shows; one's a kaleidoscopic cartoon, the other a Woody Allen-esque sitcom about a middle-aged comedian. So how is it that they have come to be so fundamentally similar in a way that is radically reshaping TV storytelling?

People problems: why <em>The Newsroom</em> is crippled by its characters

People problems: why The Newsroom is crippled by its characters

July 16, 2013 3 Comments

The second season premiere of The Newsroom scales back its regurgitation of old news to focus on characters who still neither function nor interact like actual human beings. Can Aaron Sorkin's show ever reach its potential?